Laura Collett and Mr Bass (pictured top) posted the best dressage score at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials this morning (3 May). They scored 27.6 and lie in sixth.
Please wait for the video interview with Laura to load below…
“I’m delighted, he tried so hard for me in there,” Laura said of her own, Keith Scott’s and Nick How’s 11-year-old Badminton first-timer. “He doesn’t find this phase easy as he’s built like a wheelbarrow. He’s never been in an arena like this one with the atmosphere and although I rode backwards into our first flying-change, which I can’t afford to do with him [the pair scored fours from all three judges for this movement], he’s come a long way on the flat.”
2017 Badminton winner Andrew Nicholson has gone into eighth with another Badminton first-timer in the form of Swallow Springs. The eye-catching 11-year-old grey gelding posted an accurate test to score 27.8.
Please wait for the video interview with Andrew to load below…
“He’s still quite young but is getting stronger and better all the time,” said Andrew. “He’s stepped up from Burghley last year [where the pair were third], and he feels like he can carry himself better now, which helps keep him calm and relaxed.”
The final combination to break into the top 10 is 23-year-old Will Furlong, who rides the 12-year-old mare, Collien P 2. They sit on 30.2, which is good enough for 10th at this stage.
“She was fantastic,” said Will. “She stayed with me and was a lot more relaxed in there than she has been in the past. There were no obvious mistakes and there’s still a lot more to come from her.”
Oliver Townend maintains pole position riding Cillnabradden Evo. His currently unassailable score of 19.7 hasn’t been threatened by any of the combinations who competed in the first phase this morning.
In fact the top five of Tom McEwen (Toldedo De Kerser, 24.7), Piggy French (Vanir Kamira, 26), Kitty King (Vendredi Biats, 27.2 and Millie Dumas (Artistiek, 27.3) remains unchanged from yesterday’s competition.
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The final afternoon of dressage commences at 2pm.
Pick up this week’s magazine (dated 2 May) for the full H&H Badminton form guide and check back to the H&H website for more dressage news and information ahead of the cross-country tomorrow.